Winners of the MAQ Young Critic Competition announced

The two winners, Kristen Smith and Marie-Pier Bourret-Lafleur
The two winners, Kristen Smith and Marie-Pier Bourret-Lafleur

The Maison de l’architecture du Québec (MAQ) has announced this year’s winners of the MAQ Young Architectural Critic Competition, held with the support of The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Under the theme “A Library for the 21st Century,” more than 20 Canadian library buildings were subjected to the critical analysis of competitors aged 34 years old and under from across the country. With a record 88 submissions (23 in French and 65 in English), this 4th edition of the MAQ Young Critics Competition, created in 2011, was an unprecedented success.

A public conversation between distinguished international guests Emmanuel Caille, editor-in-chief of d’architectures (Paris) and celebrated New York author and critic Paul Goldberger, and moderated by professor Jean-Pierre Chupin, was the highlight of the awards presentation event. Ewa Bieniecka, vice-president of the RAIC, opened the evening by stressing the importance of having a strong presence in architectural criticism in both social media and the press, which was the main theme of the event.

Paul Goldberger was optimistic as he emphasized the importance of initiatives such as the MAQ Young Critics Competition in this difficult transitional period for print media. His advice to the aspiring authors in the audience? Keep writing!

First prize (French) was awarded to “Une bibliothèque à coeur ouvert,” by Marie-Pier Bourret-Lafleur, a 25-year-old French literature graduate student at McGill University. Her text on the Marc-Favreau library designed by Dan Hanganu is now available in the 2016 spring-summer edition of the Nouveau Projet 09 magazine.

First prize (English) was awarded to “Growing Pains,” by Kristen Smith, a 22-year-old architecture student at Ryerson University, in Toronto. Her text, on Ryerson’s brand-new Student Learning Centre (SLC) designed by Snøhetta & Zeidler Partnership Architects will be published in an upcoming edition of Canadian Architect.

The two winners each received a $1,000 award and a two-year subscription to Canadian Architect. All of the entrants will also receive a digital subscription to the magazine.

The highly regarded submissions of two other budding critics will soon be published in Argus, the leading French-language magazine for Quebec librarians and information professionals. They are: (French) Pascale Jetté, 28, architect at Lemay Michaud, and (English) Samuel Dubois, 26, a graduate architecture student at Ottawa’s Carleton University.

The jury also gave honourable mentions to the French-language submissions of Alexandre Hamlyn, René-Maxime Parent and Alexandre Petitpas, and the English-language submissions of David Rudin and Magdalena Milosz.